Ahmad Manasra, a 22 year old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, was arrested in 2015 at the age of 13. He has been held in solitary confinement in a prison in southern Israel since November 2021, during which he has developed serious psychiatric conditions. His mental health has deteriorated to the level of life-threatening risk. 

Ahmad Manasra was arrested in 2015 in relation to the stabbing and injury of two Israelis, aged 20 and 13, in occupied East Jerusalem. Although Israeli courts found that Ahmad did not participate in the stabbings, he is serving a nine-and-a-half-year sentence for attempted murder.

At the time, Israel’s Youth Law did not allow imprisonment under the age of 14, and the court proceedings were delayed until he reached 14. After his arrest, he was subjected to ill treatment, interrogated without his lawyer or parent’s presence and denied the right to a fair trial.

Ahmad Manasra suffers from severe mental health conditions which developed during his detention and worsened in prolonged solitary confinement, which amount to torture.

On 24 October 2021, he was diagnosed by an independent Israeli clinical psychologist with serious psychiatric conditions – schizophrenia, psychosis, and severe depression – that he developed since his detention. Approximately ten days after that diagnosis, the Israel Prison Service placed him in solitary confinement, which continues today and has been extended until 16 March 2023.

On September 21 2023, after nearly two years in solitary confinement, the court postponed Ahmad’s hearing because he was too unwell to attend.

Psychiatrists said that his incarceration, and especially his ongoing solitary confinement, continues to put his health in acute danger and will lead to “irreparable damage”. 

Prolonged solitary confinement for more than 15 days is a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The treatment of Ahmad Manasra fits a wider pattern of discrimination against Palestinian children in the criminal justice system. 

Call on the Israeli government to release Ahmad Manasra on the grounds of medical necessity.

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Our Petition

Minister for Public Security 
Clermont-Ganneau St, Building C, East Kiryah,
Jerusalem 9118101, Israel

Dear Minister  

I am writing in grave concern for Ahmad Manasra, a 22 year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem held in Eshel Prison in southern Israel, whose mental health has deteriorated to a life-threatening degree during solitary confinement. I am concerned that if the Supreme Court decides to keep him in prison, he will suffer even more. Having served more than two thirds of his sentence, Ahmad Manasra is eligible for parole, with special regard for the health conditions he developed during his incarceration and after suffering ill-treatment during interrogations when he was 13 years old.    

On 24 October 2021, Ahmad Manasra was diagnosed by an independent Israeli clinical psychologist with serious psychiatric conditions. Ten days after that diagnosis, the Israel Prison Service placed him in solitary confinement, which continues until today. Psychiatrists have said that his incarceration, and especially his solitary confinement, puts his health in acute danger. Nevertheless, the Israel Prison Service extended his solitary multiple times, resulting in the prison doctor rushing Ahmad Manasra on numerous occasions to the prison hospital following life-threatening deterioration in his mental health. After discharge from hospital he was always sent straight back to solitary confinement.   

I call on you to ensure the release of Ahmad Manasra so that he can access health and social services in his community. Israel, a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), has obligations to ensure that the deprivation of liberty of children is “used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”. Also, according to CRC General Comment No. 24 (2019) Israel should provide “regular opportunities to permit early release from custody […] into the care of parents or other appropriate adults.” Pending his release, Ahmad Manasra should immediately be removed from solitary confinement and given healthcare in compliance with medical ethics, including confidentiality, autonomy, and informed consent. I urge you to arrange thorough, prompt, impartial and effective investigations into Ahmad Manasra’s alleged torture and other ill-treatment.  

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]